May is Jewish American Heritage Month, a time set aside to recognize the more than 350-year history of Jewish contributions to American culture. It's a dedicated time to pay tribute to the generations of Jewish Americans who helped form the fabric of American history, culture, and society.
Here at HarperStacks, we believe that Jewish Americans - and Jewish people all over the world - deserve recognition and celebration all year long. We encourage you to search out and share stories that show the diversity of the Jewish community and the beautiful variety of experiences within.
Take time to honor the tough times in Jewish history, but don't forget to uplift the innovators, the creators, the pioneers, the folklore, the love stories, and the everyday joys of the Jewish experience. Jewish stories come in all shapes and sizes, genres and settings, formats and timeframes.
We've gathered some of our favorite titles for all ages below. From modern graphic novels to picture book biographies, from teen rom-coms to epic middle grade fantasy, there's something for everybody. Scroll down to get started!
A Perfect Fit: How Lena "Lane" Bryant Changed the Shape of Fashion
written by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Discover how the Lane Bryant clothing brand changed the way we buy clothes forever by celebrating bodies of all shapes and sizes in this inclusive picture book biography of a Lithuanian immigrant with a brilliant eye for fashion and business.
The Greatest Song of All: How Isaac Stern United the World to Save Carnegie Hall
written by Megan Hoyt
illustrated by Katie Hickey
From the author of Bartali’s Bicycle comes a second nonfiction picture book that dives into the inspiring story of Isaac Stern, the violin virtuoso who saved Carnegie Hall from being demolished.
Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909
written by Michelle Markel
illustrated by Melissa Sweet
The true story of the young immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history. This picture book biography about the plight of immigrants in America in the early 1900s and the timeless fight for equality and justice should not be missed.
Bartali's Bicycle: The True Story of Gino Bartali, Italy's Secret Hero
written by Megan Hoyt
illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
This 2021 National Jewish Book Award finalist by author Megan Hoyt and illustrator Iacopo Bruno brings to light the inspiring, true story of Gino Bartali, a beloved Italian cyclist and secret champion in the fight for Jewish lives during World War II.
written by Eve Bunting
illustrated by K. Wendy Popp
A touching picture book for Hanukkah that remembers and honors the tragedies of the Holocaust.
Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis
written by Susan Hood
with Greg Dawson
The moving true story of how young Ukrainian Jewish piano prodigies Zhanna (alias “Anna”) and her sister Frina outplayed their pursuers while hiding in plain sight during the Holocaust.
Chunky Goes to Camp
written and illustrated by Yehudi Mercado
In Yehudi Mercado’s full-color middle grade graphic memoir sequel to Chunky, Hudi and his imaginary friend, Chunky, head to Jewish summer camp, where the dynamic duo meet a new friend who can see Chunky, too, and get mixed up in a prank war.
Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini
written by Sid Fleischman
In this fresh, witty biography of the most famous bamboozler since Merlin, Sid Fleischman, a former professional magician, enriches his warm homage with insider information and unmaskings.
Four Perfect Pebbles: A True Story of the Holocaust
written by Lila Perl and Marion Blumenthal Lazan
Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s unforgettable and acclaimed memoir recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood.The twentieth-anniversary edition features new material by the author, a reading group guide, a map, and additional photographs.
written by Lisa Greenwald
From Lisa Greenwald, the beloved author of the TBH and Friendship List series, comes a novel about one girl’s quest to discover the ins and outs of friendship—how and why of some friendships end—and to prove that despite some friendship fails, she’s totally best friend material!
Just a Girl: A True Story of World War II
written by Lia Levi
translated by Sylvia Notini
illustrated by Jess Mason
In this award-winning memoir translated from Italian to English, a Jewish girl grows up during a difficult time of racial discrimination and war, and discovers light in unexpected places. This classic, powerful story from Lia Levi is adapted for young readers, with beautiful black-and-white illustrations, a family photo album, and a powerful author’s note to readers.
A Place at the Table
written by Saadia Faruqi & Laura Shovan
illustrated by Laura Shovan
A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.
The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler's Ghettos (Young Readers' Edition)
written by Judy Batalion
This young readers’ edition of the blockbuster New York Times bestseller is the remarkable untold story of the young Jewish women who became resistance fighters against the Nazis during World War II.
A Sporting Chance: How Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games
written by Lori Alexander
illustrated by Allan Drummond
Telling the inspiring human story behind the creation of the Paralympics, this young readers biography artfully combines archival photos, full-color illustrations, and a riveting narrative to honor the life of Ludwig Guttmann, whose work profoundly changed so many lives.
Number the Stars
written by Lois Lowry
The unforgettable Newbery Medal–winning novel from Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen’s family takes in Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.
No Pretty Pictures: A Child of War
written by Anita Lobel
When World War II broke out, Anita Lobel was barely five years old. In this haunting and unflinching memoir, she tells of how her life changed forever.
A Ceiling Made of Eggshells
written by Gail Carson Levine
In A Ceiling Made of Eggshells, Newbery Honor-winning author Gail Carson Levine tells a moving and ambitious story set during the expulsion of Jews from Spain, about a young Jewish girl full of heart who must play her own role in her people’s epic history—no matter the sacrifice.
written by Julia Billet
translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger
illustrated by Claire Fauvel
A magnificent narrative inspired by a true survival story that asks universal questions about a young girl’s coming of age story, her identity, her passions, and her first loves.
Friendship List #2: 12 Before 13
written by Lisa Greenwald
After a life-changing summer at camp, Ari feels torn between Kaylan and her camp friends. And as she faces down everything from boys to bat mitzvahs, Ari needs to figure out how to be her best self—before her friends come together at her thirteenth birthday party.
The Upstairs Room
written by Johanna Reiss
A classic WWII survivor story based on award-winning author Johanna Reiss’s own childhood during the Holocaust. Now with a beautiful new cover and revised author’s note.
From Dust, A Flame
written by Rebecca Podos
Rebecca Podos, Lambda Award-winning author of Like Water, returns with a contemporary Jewish fantasy of enduring love, unfathomable loss, and the power of stories to hold us together when it seems that nothing else can.
How to Excavate a Heart
written by Jake Maia Arlow
Becky Albertalli meets Casey McQuiston in Stonewall Honor author Jake Maia Arlow's YA debut, a sapphic Jewish twist on the classic Christmas enemies-to-lovers rom-com, where college freshman Shani’s internship is interrupted by a whirlwind winter fling.
Yes No Maybe So
written by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed join forces to create a heartwarming, hilarious, and necessary story of two teens becoming unexpectedly involved in their town’s politics, and the romance that blooms between them along the way.
The Berlin Boxing Club
written by Robert Sharenow
In 1930s Berlin, a Jewish boy forms an unlikely bond with a boxing champion. Sydney Taylor Award-winning novel Berlin Boxing Club is loosely inspired by the true story of boxer Max Schmeling's experiences following Kristallnacht.
written by Phoebe North
From acclaimed author Phoebe North comes a riveting, unexpected, and beautiful contemporary novel about a girl whose brother mysteriously disappears, the family and friends he leaves behind, and the stories—real and imagined—that they tell themselves to fill the empty space.
Just a Boy and a Girl in a Little Canoe
written by Sarah Mlynowski
Perfect for fans of 99 Days and Anna and the French Kiss, this unforgettable, sun-drenched summer romance from one of YA’s bestselling and most beloved authors, Sarah Mlynowski, is an irresistible dive into the joys of seizing the day and embracing the unexpected.
Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize
written by Margo Rabb
In this witty and whimsical story by award-winning author Margo Rabb, a sixteen-year-old girl is suspended from boarding school and sent to New York City, where she must take care of an unconventional woman entangled in a mystery.